Analysis Of Ralph Waldo Emmerson 's ' Self Reliance ' Essay

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This semester we have read many essays, stories, and poems on the “self”. The question is what do all of these writings mean? What did the authors want us to take from their writings? I believe they were wanting to give us a road map to learn what it means to be self-reliant, self-secure, and also to stand up to injustices that we see in the world, or at least our new world. The authors we have studied in this class wanted to write to give America its own identity separate from Europe. There are so many examples of this it is hard to narrow it down to just a few for the purpose of this essay but I will do my best. Our country has been founded on the principles of self-reliance, self-sacrifice, and love.
In Ralph Waldo Emmerson’s essay “Self-Reliance” he is writing about depending on only yourself and also being sure-footed of yourself and your beliefs. One of the quotes that I feel best encompasses this point is “ Else, to-morrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.”(270) Emmerson is trying to tell us to speak our mind. He wants us to speak up or else someone else will speak exactly what we were thinking and we will have to hear our own thoughts from another. We need to be confident in our thoughts and then have the courage to speak them. Further in his essay Emmerson says “Else, if you would be a man, speak what you think to-day in words as…

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